IBM Adds Performance, Intros New Software And Utility Pricing, To Its FlashSystem Storage Offerings

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IBM on Tuesday said it is expanding its entire flash storage portfolio with the company's latest 3D TLC flash technology, which increases storage density by three times that of previous generations while providing higher performance and flash endurance.

IBM also introduced significant enhancements to its storage software portfolio, including updates that work better with hybrid clouds, provide consumption-based pricing, and take advantage of the new flash storage technology improvements.

The enhanced IBM storage portfolio was introduced Tuesday at IBM's Flash Storage Milan conference in Milan, Italy.

[Related: IBM Reports Storage Revenue Growth In Q3]

IBM is looking to take the lead in flash storage technology with the introduction of the company's 3D TLC flash technology, said Andy Walls, IBM Fellow and chief technology officer for IBM FlashSystem.

By increasing the size of individual flash memory cells over previous generations IBM was able to introduce three bits per cell, which increases capacity by 50 percent, Walls said. IBM at the same time is stacking the cells in three dimensions as opposed to two dimensions to further increase flash storage density, he said.

The result is a tripling of storage capacity in the latest versions of the company's FlashSystem series of all-flash arrays, including the FlashSystem V9000 for mixed enterprise environments and workload consolidation, the FlashSystem A9000 targeted at cloud service providers and enterprises with data-intensive requirements, and the FlashSystem 900 for accelerating performance in targeted workloads.

The FlashSystem V9000 consists of the FlashSystem 900 combined with the IBM Spectrum Virtualize software, while the FlashSystem A9000 and A9000R combine the FlashSystem 900 with the IBM Spectrum Accelerate software.

IBM also features data reduction and compression technology that reduces latency for data that is compressible, instead of adding it because of any additional overhead, Walls said. The company is also updating the array's software to take advantage of high-performance NVMe-based flash storage devices, he said.

"We're all about performance," he said.

Eric Herzog, chief marketing officer and vice president of worldwide storage channels for IBM's storage division, said the enhancements would result in both capex and opex savings for customers.

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